Led by sophomore Sadie Dickinson's double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, the Abilene Christian women's basketball team put a hurting on Texas A&M-International during Saturday night's season opener at Moody Coliseum, 94-66.
Dickinson was one of four Wildcats to score in double figures along with junior Renata Marquez (18), senior Kelsey Smith (13) and senior Emily Miller (10) as ACU shot 49.2 percent from the field (31 of 63). The Wildcats also connected on 40 percent of their 3-point attempts and 79 percent of its free throws.
Dickinson's 12 rebounds are a career high, while her 16 points matched a personal best set last year at Angelo State. Tonight she made 6 of 10 shots from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range though 31 minutes of action as a starter.
Marquez was 5 of 11 from the floor and a perfect 6 of 6 from the charity stripe in finishing with a ACU-high 18 points. She also pulled down eight rebounds, while Smith had seven - all off the defensive glass.
International stayed within striking distance of the Wildcats early in the first half, but began to stumble after a 3-pointer from newcomer Shannon Sanders at the 6:53 mark was immediately followed by a Marquez layup that extended the ACU lead to nine points at 34-25.
Three minutes later, Smith followed with four straight points that pushed the lead to 13 and then ACU closed the half with consecutive 3-point buckets from Mackenzie Lankford and Dickinson that gave it a 17-point edge going into halftime, 51-34.
The Dust Devils whittled their deficit down to eight points in the first five minutes of the second half. Samantha Chacon buried a trey to begin the rally, and Kim Brown later connected on two long-distance attempts with a jumper by Malika Jackson sandwiched in between.
International's challenge was quickly exhausted, however, as Paige Parliament pushed the ACU lead back to double digits with a layup at the 13:11 mark and then another 3-pointer from Dickinson made it a 15-point game with just under nine minutes remaining. From there, ACU's defense held the Dust Devils without a field goal over the final 5:51 of the game as the Wildcats outscored them down the stretch, 19-8.
The Wildcats look to improve to 2-0 Tuesday when they play host to Texas-Permian Basin at 7 p.m.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.